China, Asia

China, is the largest country in East Asia and the most populous in the world with over 1.3 billion people, approximately a fifth of the world's population. It is a socialist republic ruled by the Communist Party of China under a single-party system. Since the introduction of market-based economic reforms in 1978, the poverty rate in the PRC has decreased from 53% in 1981 to 8% in 2001. Censorship of political speech and information is openly and routinely used to silence criticism of government and the ruling Chinese Communist Party. A number of foreign governments and NGOs routinely criticize the PRC, alleging widespread civil rights violations including systematic use of lengthy detention without trial, forced confessions, torture, mistreatment of prisoners, restrictions of freedom of speech, assembly, association, religion, the press, and labor rights. Regarding homosexuality, sodomy was decriminalized in 1997, and the new Chinese Classification and Diagnostic Criteria of Mental Disorders removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 2001. The situation has continued to evolve. There is no explicit law against homosexuality, neither are there laws protecting gays from discrimination, nor are there any gay rights organizations in China. It is believed that the Chinese policy towards gay issues remains the "Three nos": no approval, no disapproval, and no promotion. An Internet survey in 2000 showed that Chinese people are becoming more tolerant towards homosexuals. 

 

News & Reports:

 

New York Today: Meeting a Gay Pride Grand Marshal

Good morning on this muggy Monday. The NYC Pride celebrations continue this week, leading up to the march on Sunday. Thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender New Yorkers and their supporters are expected to attend the march, which will led by four grand marshals: Brooke Guinan, an activist, transgender woman and New York City… Read more »

China’s gay scene attracts censorship and investment

Dating apps draw state money even though officially the lifestyle is stigmatised Chinese men are signing up en masse for gay dating apps China’s vibrant gay dating scene is attracting millions of dollars in investment, including from at least one state-controlled media group, even as embarrassed official censors curb the portrayal of openly homosexual characters… Read more »

Building a Community, and an Empire, With a Gay Dating App in China

Beijing — Ma Baoli was accustomed to secrets. By day, he was a police officer in northern China with a wife and a knack for street chases. By night, he led a life as a gay man, furtively running a website for gay people across China at a time when many were viewed as criminals… Read more »

Young gay men at the frontline of AIDS prevention in China

Young gay men are the frontline of China’s battle to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, with new cases occurring at one of the fastest rates of any segment of the population. More than 2,300 students between 15 and 24 tested positive for HIV/AIDS in the first nine months of this year, with new cases in… Read more »

HIV is growing so fast among Chinese youth that a university is selling testing kits in vending machines

As a growing number of young people (link in Chinese) become infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in China, a Chinese university in a high-risk area has started selling HIV testing kits in vending machines. The kits, which cost less than $5, are sold alongside snacks and drinks in the machines at China’s Southwest Petroleum… Read more »

China’s first-ever Gay Games team could be the largest delegation ever

China plans to participate in its first-ever Gay Games in Paris in 2018, and they are already poised to dominate — at least in terms of sheer numbers. “With already 20 registrations for badminton, swimming, volleyball, marathon, bike, track, triathlon and other sports, Team China is aiming to bring the largest delegation ever to participate… Read more »

China Grapples With HIV Cases Among Gay Men, but Stigma Runs Deep

Surge in infections worries health authorities and prompts soul-searching in conservative society Beijing—A health report from a southeastern corner of China has brought a disturbing truth into the open: HIV infections are growing rapidly among young, gay Chinese men. The trend is worrying health authorities—and prompting criticism of their efforts to respond—in a country that… Read more »

“No struggles, but also no joys:” What it’s like growing up gay in China

“What’s like growing up in China being gay?” This is often the first serious question I get when someone I’ve just met discovers I’m gay and grew up in mainland China. I understand their curiosity—the concept can seem almost oxymoronic. In totalitarian China, where everything is reined under the tight leash of the Communist Party,… Read more »

China’s gay rights charade

On Monday, Qiu Bai, a 22-year-old student from the city of Guangzhou, China, took the Chinese Ministry of Education to court in Beijing to demand that it change the way college textbooks talk about homosexuality. Right now, most of them call it a disease. The trial went mostly as Qiu had expected. A government official… Read more »

Student Challenges Homosexuality ‘Disorder’ Textbooks In China

A gay Chinese student is challenging her government over school textbooks that describe homosexuality as a mental disorder. Gay sex is not illegal in China and homosexuality was delisted as a mental disorder in 2001. Twenty-one-year-old Qiu Bai, a student at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, told Reuters that “40 percent of the psychology and… Read more »

Risqué business: first Mr Gay China shows new, more public face of LGBT

Meng Fanyu has been voted China’s first ever Mr Gay, after a previous attempt to hold the competition in 2010 was shut down In a smoky, strobe-lit nightclub in south Shanghai, Meng Fanyu strides out on stage wearing a theatrical get-up of top hat, bow tie and black eyeliner. To the delight of a roaring… Read more »

China: Progress on LGBTI rights. But more to do

Public opinion shifting to accept LGBTI people & equal rights Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, writes: LGBTI rights in China are moving in the right direction, slowly. The country’s ancient history and literature is scattered with references to gay men, such as Emperor Ai who, legend has it, cut off his sleeve… Read more »

China ‘bans Lady Gaga’ after Dalai Lama meeting

Communist party’s propaganda department reportedly issues ‘important instruction’ blocking singer’s entire repertoire from mainland Lady Gaga has reportedly been added to a list of hostile foreign forces banned by China’s Communist party after she met with the Dalai Lama to discuss yoga. The American pop singer, who has sold more than 27m albums, met the… Read more »

Increasing the visibility of LGBTS in China

Beijing – With the growth of social media, there is much more information on the community today, but they are still fighting for their legal rights. When his fellow playmates wrote love letters to girls, Devin Ji Guangyu, then 12 or 13, did the same, but also found boys to be attractive. He looked up… Read more »

Being LGBTI in China: A National Survey on Social Attitudes towards Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression

With great support from dozens of national and local community, business and media organizations, nearly 30,000 copies of valid questionnaires were received from all provinces of China. The survey reflects the life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) people, and people with other non-conforming sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions, in regards to… Read more »

China rights: Gay people pledge not to enter into sham marriages

A social media campaign has taken off among China’s lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) community which sees members pledging not to enter into sham marriages with straight people. Since last week, a number of users on popular microblogging network Sina Weibo have been posting selfies of themselves with the hashtag #I’m gay and won’t… Read more »

Judge in China Rules Gay Couple Cannot Marry

Beijing — A judge ruled on Wednesday against a gay couple who had sought the right to marry, in China’s first court case addressing the issue of same-sex unions. The couple, Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang, filed a lawsuit against a civil affairs bureau in Changsha, Hunan Province, in southern China, after the office refused… Read more »

Watch The Trailer for China’s ‘First Gay-Themed Film’

The country’s censors have historically taken a dim view of homosexuality It is not a secret that the Chinese government remains uncomfortable on the subject of homosexuality. True, the world’s most populous nation decriminalized gay sex in 1997 and homosexuality was removed from the official list of mental disorders four years later. But the treatment… Read more »

China bans depictions of gay people on television

Content that ‘exaggerates dark side of society’ is banned from TV – from homosexuality to adultery, showing cleavage and even reincarnation The Chinese government has banned all depictions of gay people on television, as part of a cultural crackdown on “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content”. Chinese censors have released new regulations for content that “exaggerates… Read more »

China removes gay high school drama from streaming sites

China’s first gay web series has been removed from streaming sites. Addicted – a 15-episode series about a gay high school couple – vanished from the internet without warning on Monday (February 22), leaving angry fans in the country unable to watch the last three episodes. According to local media reports, censors took issue with… Read more »

Social workers in Singapore not trained to deal with LGBT issues

Reports reveal that three quarters of social workers in Singapore said they have not had any training on LGBT issues. But one group is doing something to change that. Social workers in Singapore feel ill-equipped to attend to clients with LGBT-related issues according to Straits Times. In November 2015, a study published in the International… Read more »

Couple’s Lawsuit Is First Test for Same-Sex Marriage in China

Changsha, China — The two young men met through an online chat group. They began seeing each other every day. Long walks in the park. Movies and barhopping. Dinner with grandparents. On their first anniversary, in June, the men, Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang, tried to register to marry at a local civil affairs bureau… Read more »

First Chinese same-sex marriage lawsuit gets hearing next week

The first lawsuit to challenge China’s ban on same-sex marriage will go to court next week. Filed by a gay man in Changsha, the lawsuit names a civil affairs bureau in the capital of the Hunan Province, for refusing to receive his marriage registration application. The lawsuit is believed to be the first to challenge… Read more »

China passes first domestic violence law, gay couples excluded

China’s largely rubber stamp parliament on Sunday passed the country’s first law against domestic violence, which covers unmarried people who cohabit but does not protect gay couples, a senior lawmaker said. China previously did not have a special law covering violence in the family, an issue often ignored to avoid bringing shame upon the family… Read more »

First lawsuit challenges Chinese same-sex marriage ban

What is believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind has been filed, challenging China’s ban on same-sex marriage. Filed by a gay man in Changsha, the lawsuit names a civil affairs bureau in the capital of the Hunan Province, for refusing to receive his marriage registration application. The lawsuit is believed to be… Read more »

Gay rights activists in China challenge homophobic textbooks

LGBT student activists have met with government officials from the Ministry of Education to remove textbooks which identify homosexuality as a mental disorder. LGBT activist Chen Qiuyuan has been lobbying the Ministry of Education in Beijing to remove textbooks from schools and universities that classify homosexuality as a mental disorder. In May Chen, a 20… Read more »

‘An important step’ for gay rights in China

Before she became enmeshed in a potentially groundbreaking lawsuit against the Chinese government, Chen Qiuyan was an ordinary college student struggling to come to terms with her sexuality. Early this year, the 20-year-old college junior was beginning to realize that she was a lesbian — her male classmates at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou didn’t… Read more »

Male rape now a crime in China

Chinese law previously only recognised sexual assault as a crime against women. Male rape is now officially a crime in China and will carry a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment. In the past, Chinese law only recognised sexual assault as an act against women, thus making it impossible for male rape victims to seek… Read more »

In China, Gay Marriage Is Between A Man And A Woman

In China there’s been a surge in xinghun, variously translated as “cooperative marriage” or “marriage-for-show”—that is, weddings between gay men and lesbian women. A young gay man in Beijing says that right now probably 50 percent of gays choose xinghun in order to assimilate into China’s conservative, family-oriented society. When gay men marry lesbian women,… Read more »

China’s censors approve first gay love story for theatrical release

A love story featuring a gay couple has become the first to get approval from China’s film regulators. The 2014 film ‘Seek McCartney’ was directed by Wang Chao. The announcement that the regulators had approved the film for a theatrical release was made by Wang on his blog. He said it was “a small step… Read more »

Chinese Expat Pens A Personal Story

Auckland, New Zealand – a Chinese expat, Dave Yan, who possesses a personal story of dedication, perseverance and ingenuity, released a biographical fiction novel, Over A Year, to celebrate being granted his New Zealand residency. Set in Auckland, the story surrounds the life of an international student, Dave, for the time period of over a… Read more »

For China’s gay men, Dongdan Park in Beijing offers haven

In 1984, Ning Guofeng, a.k.a. “Lady Paris,” was arrested by police officers after visiting Dongdan Park in Beijing — the third time he was charged with “hooliganism” in seven years. Sent to a labor camp for three years, Ning, now 77 and known as “Granny Paris,” still keeps returning to the scene of his alleged… Read more »

Many Chinese Cheer For U.S. Marriage Equality, But What Would Confucius Say?

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to extend legal marriage nationwide to LGBT couples, it set Chinese social media abuzz with celebratory messages and rainbow flags. Chinese law does not recognize gay marriage, but recent years have seen the beginnings of an LGBT rights movement and broader public acceptance of it in the country. But… Read more »

Alibaba Helps Chinese LGBT Couples Say ‘We Do’ in West Hollywood

Beijing – It took a trip across the Pacific, but this week seven Chinese same-sex couples finally had the chance to say “I do” in West Hollywood. In an event co-sponsored by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and the Chinese gay dating app Blued, the lucky couples won the chance for a destination wedding and star… Read more »

West Hollywood marries seven contest-winning gay couples from China

West Hollywood, Calif. Seven gay and lesbian couples from China were married in the Southern California gay capital of West Hollywood on Tuesday after winning a contest sponsored by a pair of Chinese Internet companies. The seven couples were selected from among more than 2,000 based on videos they submitted detailing their love stories, after… Read more »

China’s Impressive Performance on HIV/AIDS

With a unique model of cooperation, the country has achieved a remarkable turnaround in its response to the disease Sex is a controversial yet evolving issue in China. In this field, like many others, the country’s economic boom and opening to the world are clashing with traditional values. China has become a destination for international… Read more »

Which China provinces are most gay friendly?

Tibet ranks among the least accepting Economically developed cities and China’s southeastern coastal provinces are the most gay friendly, a new survey has found. A WeChat user conducted the poll on attitudes towards homosexuality in different Chinese provinces on the mobile messaging. Marvel Studios on 24 April posted a heat map of the results that… Read more »

Online activists spur change in Middle East, China, world

Online LGBT activism and community-building are the focus of this week’s video in the “Quorum” series of 11 discussions of international LGBTI issues. Moderator for the latest discussion is Andre Banks, executive director of AllOut.org, the U.S.-based advocacy organization that has enlisted 2 million people worldwide to take action online for LGBTI rights. Panelists /… Read more »

China’s “homowives” are becoming unlikely champions for gay rights

After her marriage was over, just looking at a wedding photo would make Qiu Xuan feel awful. The 29-year-old, a video editor at a communications company in Guangzhou, could tell by the picture that she wasn’t half of a happy couple that day, even though she was the one wearing a white veil. The photo… Read more »

Families must end LGBTI violence and improve rights in Asia

Bangkok (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Some of those most guilty of violence and discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender people in Asia are their families, which must instead play a key role in improving LGBTI rights, activists from the region said. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) in Asia face the threat of… Read more »